Premier Li Keqiang vowed no leniency for anyone involved in the black
market sales of problematic vaccines, after a case was made public
involving $88 million worth of illegal vaccines that are suspected of
being sold in dozens of provincial-level regions around the country.
Li also pledged to punish officials who are proved to have committed
dereliction of duty in the spreading of the fake vaccines.
The police recently discovered that improperly stored or expired
vaccines, worth more than 570 million yuan ($88 million) have been
allegedly sold in more than 20 provincial-level regions since 2011.
The case, which involves vaccines against meningitis, rabies and other
illnesses, has shocked the nation and raised questions over vaccine
In response to the case, the World Health Organization (WHO) country
office in China on Tuesday released a note that improperly stored or
expired vaccines can lose potency and become less effective. The
organization also expressed willingness to provide support.
Police in East China's Shandong province announced last month that they
had detained 37 suspects implicated in the vaccine scandal, including a
mother and daughter alleged to have illegally sold the improperly stored
or expired vaccines, and people from three pharmaceutical companies,
according to the work group handling the case.
Meanwhile, the group has ordered a sweeping check-up of local vaccine
makers, wholesalers and buyers.
The Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) on Tuesday announced it will
directly oversee the problematic vaccine case, and urged prosecuting
bodies at all levels to spare no efforts in their investigation.